Amazon is reportedly in talks to launch a free, ad-supported music service. Billboard says the new ad-supported Amazon music service will join Amazon’s existing music and video services and will be promoted via the retailer’s voice-activated Echo speakers. Amazon doesn’t currently offer a free listening option for their music services.
Amazon currently offers a $9.99 per month Amazon Music Unlimited service, which offers 50 million songs and a Prime Music service – included as part of the retailer’s $119 per year Amazon Prime service – which offers around 2 million songs.
Prime members can save a couple of bucks on an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription as Amazon charges $7.99 per month for Prime members who wish to listen on any of their devices, or $3.99 per month for members that choose to limit their music listening to an Amazon Echo device.
Billboard notes the new ad-supported music service will join Amazon’s existing music services, and will have a limited music catalog, much like the current Prime Music service. The new service will be promoted through the company’s Echo smart speakers
The new service is seen as a competitor to Spotify, which is one of the few music services that offer a free music option. Apple Music is subscription-only and does not offer an ad-supported listening option.
The report says in an effort to get record companies to sign on the dotted line, Amazon has offered to pay some record labels per stream, regardless of how much advertising Amazon sells.
The report indicates Amazon could launch the new ad-supported free music streaming service as early as next week.
Amazon declined to comment.